Second 'Matrix' director comes out as transgender

Courtesy of Lilly Wachowski & Windy City Times

Story highlights

  • Lilly Wachowski revealed she was transgender after a newspaper threatened to 'out her'
  • With sister Lana, Wachowski created "The Matrix" trilogy
  • In her statement, she also attacked anti-trans "bathroom bills" being pushed in several U.S. states

(The Hollywood Reporter)The second half of the directing duo known as the Wachowskis has come out as transgender.

Lilly Wachowski, 48, sibling of Lana Wachowski, 50, issued a statement to Windy City Times that begins, "SEX CHANGE SHOCKER—WACHOWSKI BROTHERS NOW SISTERS!!!"
The Times reports an outlet threatened to out the younger Wachowski, which led to the announcement, which, Lilly writes, she had been anticipating with "dread and/or eye rolling exasperation."
    "The 'news' has almost come out a couple of times," Wachowski writes. "Each was preceded by an ominous email from my agent -- reporters have been asking for statements regarding the 'Andy Wachowski gender transition' story they were about to publish."
    Wachowski goes on to recount an incident in which a reporter from the Daily Mail showed up at her home to elicit an exclusive on her gender transition.
    "After he had given me his card, and I closed the door it began to dawn on me where I had heard of the Daily Mail," Wachowski writes. "It was the 'news' organization that had played a huge part in the national public outing of Lucy Meadows, an elementary school teacher and trans woman in the UK."
    Wachowski decided instead to come out on her own terms.
    "So yeah," she writes. "I'm transgender."

    'We are prey'

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    Lilly cites one classic film — 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs" — as having "demonized and vilified" the transgender community for its depiction of the serial-killer character Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb, played in the film by Ted Levine. While the media has since come "a long way" in transgender acceptance, she writes, "so-called bathroom bills...do not keep children safe. [T]hey force trans people into using bathrooms where they can be beaten and/or murdered."
    "We are not predators, we are prey," Wachowski says.
    Lilly's sister, Lana, discussed being transgender on Oct. 20, 2012, in a funny, honest and deeply moving speech delivered at the Human Rights Campaign's gala fundraising dinner in San Francisco.
    She was joined at the time by Lilly, their parents, and Lana's wife.
    "I knew that I would do this eventually," Lana later told The Hollywood Reporter. "But it was interesting that I didn't want to inhabit the memory too closely. A lot of them are very painful memories."
    "There are some things we do for ourselves, but there are some things we do for others. I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn't find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others. If I can be that person for someone else, then the sacrifice of my private civic life may have value," Lana said.

    From "The Matrix" to "Sense8"

    Together, the Wachowskis have worked on eight features, including "The Matrix Trilogy," "V for Vendetta" and "Cloud Atlas." They also co-created the Netflix series "Sense8", a science-fiction fantasy about a group of people linked psychically, which explores transgender themes and stars transgender actress Jamie Clayton.
    Eddie Redmayne, who played trailblazing transgender artist Lili Elbe in "The Danish Girl," recently told THR that Lana Wachowski -- who with Lilly had directed him in 2015's "Jupiter Ascending" -- was a great resource to him while preparing for the role.
    "She talked in depth and wonderful detail about [Elbe's] art and also extraordinary things about that period. How architecture had gotten more feminine with Art Nouveau, how the notions of gender were beginning to change in the 1920s, with women's clothing becoming more boyish and haircuts getting shorter. She was just so articulate on so many subjects," Redmayne said.